My big question as of late was this:
How do I honor God, myself, and my agent when we seem to want different things?
A little backstory: my novel has significant religious themes, ones that are important to me. (Like, the-core-of-who-I-am important.) My agent thought it all needed to be toned down in order to sell. At first, I thought I was going to refuse. I really did. I didn’t even look at my manuscript for over a week.
Then, one night, I had an epiphany. I had thought epiphanies were accompanied by a choir of angels or a visible light bulb illuminated over one’s head, but it turns out that they can be just as quiet as a word crawling into your mind while you try to sleep and making a nest for itself there.
The word was parables.
In scripture, Christ told stories all the time. Parables. Lots of people believe that parables were intended to make things easier for people to understand, but that’s not actually what the Bible says. Essentially, scripture says that parables were meant for some to see … and some to not.
I wondered, Can I bury these truths so deep in my story that those who want to see them will see them– and those who don’t want to won’t?
It seemed like the one and only way to satisfy my agent while also honoring the story I wanted to tell. It also seemed terrifically difficult. Shooting for such a minuscule target. I knew I wasn’t good enough writer to do these edits without help.
So I prayed. A lot. And spent time in scripture. A lot. And wrote an okay new first draft, a better second draft, third …, showed it to my writing group, wrote another draft or so, and after two weeks of attempting to create a parable, I sent my revisions off to my agent.
Heard from him today. Thumbs up.
He’s going to send the manuscript out to editors on Monday.
P.S. If you’re a person who prays, would you pray for my manuscript to find favor with an editor? I’m sooooooo nervous!